Golf cart safety is a high priority whether you are rolling along a course, hunting during peak season, or just cruising through a campground. Most areas where golf carts are allowed will typically have their own set of driving rules, but there are some universal rules that can help to keep you and those around you safe. Golf cart accidentshave been on the rise, with some ending in fatalities, so understanding how to minimize accidents will make you a better driver and help keep the “roads” safe.
Mind your driving speed
Like regular vehicles, golf cars have a maximum speed, but it is not expected that you always drive at the maximum speed. Learn the speed limits in the areas where you are driving and use your best judgement. Like regular cars, adverse conditions will affect your speed limit. If it is raining or the ground is icy, reducing your speed will give you better control and handling of your golf cart. Reducing your speed when making sharp turns or when carrying a heavy load is also a good golf cart safety habit.
Keep to designated paths and roadways
In most areas where golf carts are allowed there are designated paths and roadways for them to travel. They are typically separate from sidewalks and other paths, but just like regular city roads there are jaywalkers and free spirits ready to walk in front of you. Keep your eyes peeled even when traversing down your own designated pathways.
Pedestrians have the right of way
Pedestrians always have the right of way, so when you are driving your golf cart through a campground or fairground, maintain a safe speed, usually equivalent to a brisk walk, with the anticipation that you may need to stop.
Do not carry more passengers than there are seats
If there are only x number of seats, then only x number of passengers can safely board. Exceeding your passenger capacity will put unnecessary weight on your cart and can damage your shocks and prematurely wear down your tires. Not to mention, it is unsafe and many golf cart accidents have been caused by excess passengers on board.
Keep hands, feet, and other body parts inside the vehicle
This may sound like a precursor to a wicked roller coaster ride, but keep your limbs inside the cart while it’s moving is common sense, and should be practiced — especially if driving with young kids.
Look, Listen, and Drive
Look around and be aware of driving signs and warnings — even if they are meant for regular vehicles. These signs are designed to make your drive easier, regardless of what type of vehicle you are operating. Being aware of speed limits, dips, speed bumps, and other driving warnings will keep you safe, and it will help you avoid undue wear on your golf cart.
Listen for warnings and other things that might affect your driving — emergency vehicle sirens, kids playing, other vehicles, etc… Overall, being aware of your surroundings while driving allows you to anticipate and respond appropriately to obstructions or other interferences.
Maintain your golf cart
Regular golf cart maintenance, including checking your tires for wear and golf cart battery maintenance will help to keep your cart in tip top shape, and help reduce the risk of injury from tire blowouts, battery leaks, and other preventable accidents.
Observe traffic laws
If you are operating a street legal golf cart, then you are required to adhere to all traffic laws in your jurisdiction. Learn your traffic laws before taking your ride to the streets. This will keep you, your golf cart, and others safe.
These are all basic golf cart safety rules to abide by. If you are operating a golf cart on a school campus, airport, or other institution, then there is a good chance that they have their own golf cart safety procedures that you must follow.
It is likely that you’ve been driving a regular vehicle for some time, so transferring your driving experience when operating a golf cart will make understanding the rules of golf cart safety much easier.